Defence is enhancing support for humanitarian disaster relief, crisis response and regional engagements by redefining the role of the C-27J Spartan aircraft.
CAPTION: An Air Force C-27J Spartan aircraft during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Jacqueline Forrester.
The Spartan’s new role will enhance Australia’s humanitarian and emergency response to natural disasters in Australia and our near region, regional engagement across the Indo-Pacific including through Pacific Step-Up, and the Australian Defence Force’s military logistics and air mobility capability.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said the Spartan’s capabilities were aligned with Defence’s strategic objectives to shape Australia’s strategic environment, deter actions against our interests and when required, respond with credible military force.
“The Spartan demonstrated its specific capabilities during the 2019/20 Australian bushfire crisis by safely evacuating 2,400 fire-affected community members and resupplying remote communities that were inaccessible by larger aircraft, which included moving 300,000 kilograms of cargo,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
“The Spartan conducted these missions at a range that exceeded the ability of Defence helicopters because of its flexibility and the inherent operational characteristics of a light tactical fixed wing aircraft.”
Head of Air Force Capability Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts highlighted the Spartan’s contribution to ADF contingency response, and its value in providing assistance to regional neighbours.
“The use of the Spartan on exercises such as Arnhem Thunder and Talisman Sabre to deliver vital stores to expeditionary airbases, showcases its ability to reach remote and austere airbases.
“And it has also recently transported medical supplies and equipment to Port Moresby to assist PNG in the fight against COVID-19; as well as contributed to Australia’s support to regional maritime security and fisheries protection on the high seas through deployments on Operations Resolute and Solania,” Air Vice-Marshal Roberts said.
Redefining the role of the Spartan will ensure Defence delivers an airlift capability that meets Australia’s requirements, providing vital support to the nation and our near region.